Update: Weight up, cholesterol up for man who lost 27 pounds on Twinkie diet
August 30th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Update: Weight up, cholesterol up for man who lost 27 pounds on Twinkie diet

Nutrition professor Mark Haub, who lost 27 pounds eating mainly Twinkies, powdered donuts and Oreo cookies, is back to an average American diet.

Since ending his junk food experiment in November, he has gained 2 pounds and his cholesterol has also increased a little bit, he said. He also has gained a new insight into the debate over healthy eating.

"People have a hatred towards (processed) foods," he said. "I like them. I eat them. It's amazing how people believe if it's processed, it's not food."

What also caught Haub by surprise was "how vitriolic people can be when they take a stance, whether it's low-carb or paleo diet. It's like politics. Those discussions can get heated. It's the same thing with religion, I'm right. You're wrong."

Last fall, Haub shed 13% of his weight over two months restricting his diet to 1,600 calories while eating "junk food." Surprisingly, his cholesterol readings improved and his level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, decreased. This could have been explained by the decreased consumption of calories.

November 8, 2010: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds

Today he eats three meals a day, consuming about 2,200 calories with food choices like turkey sandwiches, peanut butter, and snacking on pears.

"The main thing I did was reduce portion size," he said about what he learned from the diet. "It's that concept of mindfulness or mindful eating - I eat relatively the same. I just eat less."

And he still munches on an occasional Twinkie or snack cake.

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Filed under: Food • Health • Nutrition
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Robert

    I could very easily lose a ton of weight by consuming nothing but water. For that matter, I could be like "Survivor" and have only white rice and water. I'd also guaranteed lower my cholesterol and low density lipids. I would also lose muscle mass and my sense of humor, plus many important vitamins and minerals. My bones would become brittle. And I would probably start to have a jaundiced appearance.

    But hey, I would have lost weight, and that's apparently the most important thing, right?

    August 31, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • chris

      when in Italy I had acid reflux. The doc put me on a white pasta diet (just pasta with oil and some butter). 1 week later I went to ER and needed potassium IV. Then I felt 100%. Diets must be well understood before adopting.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Eumir

      That would be awesome..... then you could fade away and not post any more stupid crap on CNN.

      August 31, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dr. Philip

    The human body's natural reaction to an overly-acidic diet is to produce more cholestrol to protect vital organs from acid attack. Any artificial lowering of these naturally high cholestrol levels would result in strokes and eventually, heart-attacks. But hay, a skilled surgeon can do an avg. bypass in under 20 min., and so most doctors aren't afraid to artificially lower your body's natural level. Plus it pays good to do it.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeff S

      Doc P, shhhh, you might wake up the sleepers!

      August 31, 2011 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Eumir

      Yes Jeff and your profound insight and wisdom is only eclipsed by your pretentiousness. Oh great one.

      August 31, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dr. Philip

    One study that I recall involved comparing senior citizens who led active lives on their own with those of the same age living in assisted living centers/retirement homes. The study found that almost all of the active seniors had what doctors term 'high cholesterol', while virtually all of the seniors in the assisted living centers/retirement homes had cholesterol levels artificially lowered by pharmaceuticals readily available. Few of the active high cholesterol group had undergone any bypass procedures...while many of the artificially lowered cholesterol group had undergone at least one bypass, with several having undergone more than one. Dr. Philip reports. YOU decide.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dr. Philip

    There is compelling evidence that links a persons lifedpan with a persons caloric intake. Many studies have shown this to be the case with lab animals, and a group of students from the University of Lousianna have been conducting these experiments on themselves for about 7 years now. Your body is an running engine, it's fuel is calories. It's not how old your engine is that determines it's remaining lifespan. It's how much fuel you forced through that engine that determines how much life remains in it.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ACE

    I work out daily and I can eat pretty much whatever I want whenever I want. I thought I was bad with Mikie D's on a regular basis but Twinkies? That's golden!

    August 31, 2011 at 4:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Andrew the Apostle

    so what. Twinkies will still kill you. This isn't even news. Hey CNN, next time instead of spending thousands on some pointless news story, how about you give some money to Jesus Christ..or give money to a homeless charity?

    August 31, 2011 at 4:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • dog

      Give money to JC? Why, if God is short on dough, why doesn't he lift his lazy azz and do some real work for a change, instead of begging money from us?

      August 31, 2011 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Eumir

      Probably because Jesus is dead you fool!

      August 31, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. balance?

    the secret to health in balance.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. How much??

    So how much did Hostess pay CNN for this recurring waste of "news" space?

    August 31, 2011 at 5:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Paul

    This guy should donate his colon to science.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Laureth

    When this guy gets cancer from all the chemicals of the processed food he consumed on his "diet" he'll wonder why.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. MIKE

    What a moron. A nutrition professor ? Seriously ? So we shouldn't care about the contents of our calories – saturated fats, sodium, chemicals – preservatives, coloring, etc, trans fats,fiber, etc ? You only need to look at the number ? I dont think so. Junk food is not good food. He should know that. I wonder how much money Hostess and the snack food / sugar / food chemical industries paid him to do this.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eumir

      Waaaaaaa!!! boo-hooo... sorry to upset you precious!!

      August 31, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Will

    What an IDIOT! He says "people are vitriolic about junk food", but it's really not that bad and there will be other idiots that take his advice and RUIN their health....just like the other idiot on the Mcdonald's diet.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eumir

      and... you just proved his point you big crybaby!

      August 31, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ken

    I think the point here was to control your calorie intake. Its not about twinkies and other junk food. I believe he is advocating a balanced meal, and is suggesting that a twinkie now and then isn't going to kill you. But eating 5000 calories of whatever you want a day, even if its low fat, probably will.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. J R T

    Goodness what a bunch of hype–My dream kitchen after a lifetime of kitchen slavery is vending machines and trashcans-hooray for the Twinkies!!! and don't forget the DingDongs!!

    August 31, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Queen Lattice

    that does it, where are my twinkies??

    August 31, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
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